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Prep school graduate begins imprisonment for 2014 sex assault

FILE – In this Oct. 29, 2015, file photo, Owen Labrie listens to the prosecutors before being sentenced in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, N. H. He was convicted for the sexual abuse of a young prep school classmate in 2014, and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Labrie reported to the Merrimack County jail on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018, to begin serving the remaining 10 months of his jail sentence. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool, File)

BOSCAWEN, N. H. – A New Hampshire prep school graduate sentenced for sexual assault of a 15-year-old classmate, reported to prison Wednesday to begin serving the remaining 10 months of his jail sentence.

Twenty-three-year-old Owen Labrie located in the Merrimack County jail Wednesday morning, a little more than a week after a judge refused to shorten his sentence. Journalists waiting outside the prison saw him not.

Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, was acquitted in 2015 of rape of a 15-year-old classmate Chessy Prout as part of the “Senior Salute,” a game of sexual conquest, in the St. Paul ‘ s School. But a jury found him guilty of the offence of sexual assault charges and endangering the welfare of a child. He was also sentenced for using a computer for the seduction of an underage student for sex, him to register as a sex offender.

Labrie had been free pending an appeal, other than the two months he served for the curfew violations in 2016.

Merrimack County jail, Supt. Ross Cunningham said Labrie was undergoing a medical checkup, and other attacks and would move to the general population when that is completed. He said that there are “no issues” so far with Labrie. “After some time, he will transition to the general case, unless something comes up,” he said.

Labrie’s lawyer, Jaye Rancourt, said she spoke with his family earlier in the week and said that they are concerned about him spending time behind bars. It was unclear whether family members accompanied Labrie to the prison.

“They are disappointed that he has to go. But they look forward to the passing of the time, and hopefully we will see him soon,” Rancourt told The Associated Press. “As anyone who has a family member who is in prison, who has never been in trouble, there is clearly a lot of care.”

Prout’s father, Alex, said Labrie is finally paying for the crimes he committed.

“Today, the perpetrator who sexually abused than our 15-year-old daughter will finally be held responsible for his crime and sent to prison for his sentence,” Prout said in a statement. “To date, he has no remorse nor accepted any responsibility for his actions. We hope that he will never make sexual violence a different person in the future.”

In the last month, the state Supreme Court confirmed Labrie’s conviction on the computer charging. The court rejected the arguments Labrie’s lawyers that prosecutors had failed to prove intent in his use of the computer, and that the law was intended to be used for the purpose of online predators and pedophiles, not cases like this.

The court is also considering a separate appeal in that Labrie’s lawyers claim that he deserves a new trial over ineffective counsel. His lawyer argued his original council in 2015, the case failed to place a defense against the computer, charging, or effectively communicate that Labrie had no intention of having sex with Chessy Prout when he sent her the messages.

The lead trial attorney, J. W. Carney, Jr. it is a well-known lawyer whose clients included the late Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they give permission, as Prout has done.

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